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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

HIST3382 The Cultural History of Venice, 1509-1797

40 creditsClass Size: 16

Module manager: Dr Alex Bamji

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This course explores the vibrant and dynamic city of Venice in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. Venice at this time was a major port at the heart of an extensive commercial empire. Situated on a small collection of islands in a lagoon, this cosmopolitan city was the setting for elaborate palaces, dozens of beautiful churches, dramatic festivals and rituals, and a hubbub of inhabitants and travellers from a range of cultural backgrounds. This course will provide an introduction to a number of concepts and methods associated with cultural history. A range of visual and written sources including travel journals, legislation, art, costume books, and Inquisition trial records will be used to study broad themes such as community, space and ritual in the city. No knowledge of Italian is required. The people of Venice will be at the heart of this course: from spies, courtesans and aspiring saints, to shipbuilders and fishermen fighting on the city's bridges. We will find out how Venice's inhabitants presented themselves through words, actions, and appearances, and consider their attitudes, values and perceptions to gain insights into how people experienced life in the early modern city.


On completion of this module, students should be able to display:
- an informed understanding of Venice in the early modern period;
- an understanding of the main concepts and methods associated with cultural history;
- familiarity with the relevant historiography and an appreciation of debates about the 'myth' of Venice;
- an ability to interpret and analyse primary source material;
- an ability to express their ideas and arguments effectively in group discussions.


Indicative topics could include:
- Community and identity
- Ritual
- Gender and status
- Self-fashioning
- Centre and margins
- Information and communication
- Culture
- The myth of Venice

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours356.00
Total Contact hours44.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)400.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will be monitored on class contributions and the quality of the non assessed work which they will be required to complete for each seminar.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 4,000 word assessed essay to be submitted in exam week 2 in January40.00
PresentationVerbal presentation10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

10% exercise will be redone with an equivalent 'written exercise'

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment48 hr 00 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 09/05/2022 14:31:58


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